Next-gen Volvo XC90 (Hybrid) likely to be an extensive facelift [Update]

  • Volvo Cars to sell the XC90 alongside the upcoming EX90 electric SUV
  • Refreshed XC90 likely with similar dimensions & offer the same comfort of 7 seats
  • Could go on sale as a 2024 model with different front & rear fascias in the U.S. in 2023
  • Prices likely to start from under USD 57k for the MHEV & USD 73k for the PHEV

Update: ‘Volvo Recharge models gain popularity worldwide’ section updated.

The next-generation Volvo XC90 may not be the all-new vehicle fans have been waiting for. Rumors about a third-generation model have been swirling for about two years, but the automaker may unveil an improved version of the second-gen model with changes mainly to the styling and interior. Note that we’re speaking about the future of the combustion-powered XC90 and not the all-electric EX90.

In an interview with Autocar in July 2022, Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Advisor – Group Management Team, Volvo Cars, said that when the company introduced the second-gen XC90, it wanted to increase its annual new vehicle sales from around 450,000 units to 800,000 units. The company is close to that goal, selling around 700,000 vehicles annually. In this context, the XC90 is a hugely important car for the company, accounting for a sizeable proportion of its sales and profits. in 2022, it was the third best-selling model with 97,130 units sold.

Design & Platform

The render below is an early interpretation of what the next-generation XC90 might look like. A radical design is unlikely to be on Volvo designers’ minds. The focus would be on retaining the XC90’s silhouette and its distinct design elements that have made the SUV so popular worldwide. Expect to see a new grille, LED headlamps inspired by the Concept Recharge, and mild improvements in other areas.

2024 Volvo XC90 PHEV front three quarter rendering
The new Volvo XC90 should feature an evolutionary design. TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the new model pictured for reference.

Hakan Samuelsson, the former President and CEO of Volvo Cars, had hinted that the XC90 will get a second facelift following the first refresh in 2019. Volvo will not need a facelift if an all-new third-gen XC90 is in the pipeline as previously assumed. Samuelsson said that the company would “look into upgrading” the second-gen XC90 so that “it looks a bit better,” Automotive News Europe reported on February 15, 2022. The former company chief had said that demand for hybrid models still exists, especially in the U.S. and China.

Also Read: Lynk & Co 09 (Volvo XC90’s cousin) on sale in China

Electrified Engines

From a report published in June 2020, we learned that Volvo would offer the new XC90 in “B” mild-hybrid and “T” plug-in hybrid variants. This lineup is no different from what is available today, and supported by the visual updates, the current vehicle should serve as the classic alternative to the new flagship electric vehicle.

Improved PHEV powertrain

Volvo Cars brought a significant technical revision to the XC90 Recharge with the MY2022 update ahead of the upcoming redesign. The company updated the SUV’s plug-in hybrid system to produce more power.

Volvo Cars changed the XC90 Recharge’s 2.0-liter from a supercharged and turbocharged unit to a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit and replaced the old electric motor with a more powerful electric motor. This upgrade increased the system power and system torque by 55 hp to 455 hp and by 51 lb.-ft. to 523 lb.-ft. The company replaced the battery pack, too, swapping out the 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with an 18.6 kWh unit.

As a result of the various revisions, the XC90 Recharge’s EPA-est. range doubled from 18 miles to 36 miles, EPA-est. total driving range increased from 520 miles to 530 miles, and EPA-est. energy consumption reduced from 58 kWh/100 mi to 49 kWh/100 mi.

New Volvo XC90 Release Date

Updated upcoming Volvo electric cars
Volvo’s focus has already shifted to EVs. By 2030, it will stop selling combustion vehicles. Image: Volvo Cars.

Volvo Cars could reveal the restyled XC90 later this year and launch it in the U.S. as an MY2024 model. Meanwhile, the all-electric EX90 will begin arriving at dealers in early 2024. Unlike the XC90, which is shipped from Europe, the EX90 will be made in South Carolina (USA).

Volvo EX90: The XC90’s pure-electric alternative

Volvo Cars has unveiled a new model called ‘Volvo EX90‘ as a pure-electric alternative to the XC90. The company has adopted a dual-platform strategy. It has developed the ‘SPA2’ with two unique floor assemblies, one for the hybrid models like the XC90 that partially run on fossil fuel and one for the fully-electric models.

Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Cars, talked about the SPA2 platform with Green Car Reports in March 2021. Green said Volvo plans to manufacture the floors in parallel on separate lines, but for the ICE, it may be the current platform (SPA1) integrating a few improvements.

One floor is built around the flat battery with an e-machine in front and rear, very much the skateboard approach that you see pure electric vehicles are built on today. And there is another floor which is completely different, built with a combustion engine in the front, the prop shaft, an exhaust system, a fuel tank in the rear.

Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Cars

Volvo Recharge models gain popularity worldwide

Volvo Cars says that the demand for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and pure electric vehicles, which it markets as Recharge models, is rising. In 2022, Volvo Cars sold 205,352 Recharge vehicles worldwide, compared to 189,216 cars in 2021, marking a growth of 8.5 percent. The share of pure-electric models in Recharge sales increased by a whopping 159.5%, from 25,727 units (2021) to 66,749 units (2022).

In the U.S., sales of Recharge models in 2022 increased by 22.3% year-over-year to 27,909 units (2021: 22,820 units). The contribution of pure-electric vehicles to Recharge sales also went up, by 14.3% to 7,308 units (2021: 6,392 units).

2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge charging
Customers are increasingly buying Recharge (plug-in hybrid/pure electric) models in the U.S. Image: Volvo Cars

TopElectricSUV says

Despite a clear push toward electric vehicles, Volvo knows that gas-electric vehicles are still profitable and popular models, and has worked for years to achieve its current status. With many countries behind the curve on EV adoption, and question marks hanging over the state of the charging infrastructure in the U.S., electrified SUVs have a big part to play this decade as a bridge for customers who are reluctant to go all-electric.

The Volvo XC90 should continue being popular with luxury family SUV buyers who seek high value for money, unmatched safety, and a true Scandinavian design. In particular, the XC90 PHEV will help ease customers into transitioning to the EX90.

New Volvo XC90 FAQs

What is the new Volvo XC90 release date?

The improved Volvo XC90 could go on sale in the United States in the second half of 2023.

Which models will the new Volvo XC90 compete with?

The new Volvo XC90 alternatives will include the likes of the BMW X5, Audi Q7, and Mercedes GLE.

What will be the new Volvo XC90 price?

Volvo Cars may price the restyled XC90 from around USD 57,000 for the mild-hybrid.

Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s rendition of a refreshed XC90 with the latest design cues.